Day 3 - Marqueas to the Kauehi, Tuamotos
13 May 2016 | 15 25'S:144 36'W, On Passage, Nuku Hiva to Kauehi Atoll
Days at sea completed: 3
Distance sailed in the last 24 hours (nm): 179 Distance sailed total (nm): 472 Distance to go (nm): 57
Wind Speed & Direction (knots): everything imaginable!! Waves (ft): 4-8ft
--- See the map on our blog for our current location---
Holy crap! I just wish that the wind would make up its mind. I don't mind high winds and I don't mind light windsÉ But I hate having both every five minutes!
Our weather here starts with the trade winds which are currently blowing at 10-15 knots. But, there are also many, many small squalls around each creating their own wind and seas.
For example, last night we were cruising along with about 15 knots on the beam in nice small, comfortable seas. Literally, 10 minutes later it was blowing 33 knots with 8' seas. When the wind increases so fast it can be a real fire drill on the boat as we shorten sail and adjust course as fast as we can.
This particular squall had the added feature of a "free boat wash" with "extra rinse" thrown in! I can guarantee you that after that particular tropical downpour there wasn't any salt spray left anywhere on the boat. But, did those winds stick around? Of course not! Within 15 minutes the wind dropped way down to 7 knots, but of course, the 8 foot seas stuck around. Any sailor knows how frustrating these conditions can be and how hard it is on the equipment and sails to be flogging around like that.
These changing wind conditions are happening hourly, 24 hours a day. There really is no rest on this passage!
Surprisingly, we still make great time yesterday covering 179 miles and averaging nearly 7.5 knots for the 24 hour period. That is one of our faster days, if not one of our more comfortable ones.
We are nearly at Kaeuhi Atoll now. It's about 37 miles away. But, we will have to hold station outside the atoll overnight as we won't get there in time for slack tide in the pass today. The plan is to head to the lee side of the atoll and motor around or heave to. It's about 5000 feet deep right off the reef, so anchoring will be out of the question.
Yes, we are definitely looking forward to getting in first thing tomorrow morning and relaxing. The changeable winds have made this a very tiring passage. Hopefully our friends on Moonshadow, who should have arrived today, have their ice maker fired up. Margaritas under the palm trees tomorrow!